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GB3WP & G6YRK – Rant Time

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper radio based post, so it’s a bit of a shame that I have to start off with a rant, but it’s required in this case.

One of the local 70cm repeaters, GB3WP seems to have many problems. The largest one seems to be G6YRK, the repeater keeper.

I had heard rumours of the repeater suddenly going off air getting switched off when either an M3/M6 or 2E0/2E1 was using it. At the time I thought no fellow ham could be quite that petty.

What callsign I or anybody else has should not make a shred of difference whether we should be allowed on the air or not. I personally keep my operating standards as high as possible, way above and beyond what Ofcom stipulates in the licence terms, as it’s part of making the hobby enjoyable for everyone. Seems that not everyone feels the same (in my experience, the older generation of hams, some of whom believe that the tests these days are far too easy, etc, etc).

Then I got proved wrong.

I was doing some handheld radio testing with M3HHY over at Distant Signal Radio on GB3WP, as at the time GB3MR was having some issues with the local pirate (see my previous posts for more info on that prat).

Within a couple of minutes of us establishing a QSO, the repeater suddenly stopped responding. After trying to get back in for a good 15 minutes, it came back on air again.
The instant we gave our callsigns, off it went, into the ether. No response.
This behaviour continued for nearly an hour, and after trying to contact YRK directly, we gave it up as a bad job, with quite a bit of pissed off added into the mix.

If I’d not heard stories of the repeater being turned off when the “wrong people” are using it, I might have put it down to dodgy repeater equipment, but even that didn’t make sense, as it had a definite pattern.
We both fired off an email to the Repeater Keeper, only to get no response from that either (surprise, surprise).

That was the last time I personally attempted to make use of GB3WP.

Until I was given an audio clip of G6YRK in action this evening.

Seems that not even M0 calls are immune from being wiped off the air by GB3WP. Chris, M0OGG, has apparently also had this issue with the repeater. Lucky for him, he had the opportunity to speak to the keeper directly about what went on.

Here’s the audio, I’ll pick each part out & go into a few opinions/observations below.

So, Chris (M0OGG) has asked a simple question, and been met with hostility. Dick Move Number 1.

YRK is clearly reluctant to go into “detail” on the air. Probably because he’s talking complete shite. Only when Lewis (M3HHY) joins in with a slightly more defensive tone does Steve (G6YRK) actually say what Chris has been “reported” for.

After all that it seems that an accusation of keying over other repeater users is the bullshit line of the day. (For the record, I know Chris, he’s not the type of person to key over another radio user, that behaviour in of itself is idiotic).
Apparently he has witnesses to this action, and he’s insisting that others were also involved. Not to mention the fact that RDF has been done on (I’m assuming) all of these “offenders”. G6YRK must have quite the army of hams with lots of spare time.
I’m not sure who the other station is, as he doesn’t give a callsign.

As Lewis jumps in & comments, the Repeater Keeper should be saying something to users he suspects of this kind of thing, in my opinion.

The real reason, of course, that he keeps turning the repeater off when others are using it is that he’s a passive-aggressive vindictive moron.

Surprise, surprise, he can’t remember the “exact date”, (because it never actually happened), it’s just “the other day, somebody did it”. Yeah, great evidence there Steve, because apparently the only person around at the time was Chris. How can he know this? When a repeater has a coverage area as wide as GB3WP, this guy is claiming that he knows that only a single person is listening? No, I think it’s bullshit too.

GB3WP Coverage Map
GB3WP Coverage Map

For reference, here’s the coverage map of the repeater. Steve G6YRK must be bloody psychic to make such a comment.
He then mentions a “friend” of Chris, but again refuses to give any names. Again I’m calling bullshit.
Swifty following this he goes into full kick-my-toys-out-of-the-pram mode because he’s been openly challenged.
While he’s correct in his statement that he can do as he pleases with the repeater, it’s not very good form to just switch the thing off when licenced users are having a perfectly valid QSO. If he doesn’t like people using the repeater, he should turn it off permanently & remove the listing from the repeater group.

After this, Steve makes the comment that he knows nothing of the repeater going off, as he’s been out all night. He mentions his Repeater Stasi again, and then makes a partial retraction of his previous statement, now that it “might” not have been Chris previously. Well Steve, we’re finally getting towards something that resembles truth. You’ve got absolutely no idea who is “keying people out”, if it’s even happening at all. So much for “having people all over the place” listening to where transmissions are coming from.

After Chris confronts him again, he returns to the fallback of that as the NoV holder it’s his prerogative to be able to switch the repeater off whenever he pleases.

When confronted with the fact that people pay into the repeater group to help keep them running, he claims that Chris’ signal is breaking up. My arse. Every other station on the repeater can hear him fine.

There’s probably more to add to this, so if I get any more relevant information from other sources I’ll add on to the saga.

73s for now folks!

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More Baofeng UV-82 Power Tests

I really like the UV-82s, over the UV-5Rs I was originally using, so I’ve bought another pair. Here are the power levels on test. Tests were done with a full battery charge on the 2m/70cm calling frequencies.

Serial NumberVHF HighVHF LowUHF HighUHF Low
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nb Tanya Louise Radio Install Part 1

I often find myself carrying by go bag up to the boat during trips, so I can do some radio. However at 16lbs it’s a pain on public transport. A fixed radio was required! Another Wouxun GK-UV950P was ordered, and the fact that the head unit is detachable from this radio makes a clean install much easier.

Mounting Bracket
Mounting Bracket

I found a nice spot under a shelf for the main radio unit, above is the mounting bracket installed.
This location is pretty much directly behind where the head unit is placed, but the audio is a bit muffled by the wooden frame of the boat & some external speakers will be required for the future.

Main Radio Unit
Main Radio Unit

Here’s the main radio unit mounted on it’s bracket, with the speakers facing down to improve the audio slightly. I used the supplied interface cable for the head unit, even though it’s too long. I do have the tools to swage on new RJ-45s, but the stuff is a pain to terminate nicely & I really just couldn’t be bothered. So it’s just coiled up with some ties to keep it tidy. Main power is provided directly from the main DC bus. (880Ah total battery capacity, plus 90A engine alternator, 40A solar capacity).

Rat's Nest
Rat’s Nest

Here’s the main DC bus, with the distribution bars. With the addition of new circuits over the years, this has become a little messy. At some point some labelling would be a good idea!

Radio Face Plate
Radio Face Plate

Finally, the head unit is installed in a spot on the main panel. It does stick out a little more than I’d like, but it’s a lot of very dusty work with the router to make a nice hole to sink it further in. All my local repeaters & 2m/70cm simplex are programmed in at the moment.

Antenna Magmount
Antenna Magmount

I’ve got a Nagoya SP-80 antenna on a magmount for the radio, a magmount being used due to the many low bridges & trees on the canal. (It’s on the roof next to the first solar panel above). I prefer it to just fall over instead of having the antenna bend if anything hits it!

Part 2 will be coming soon with details of the permanent antenna feeder.

73s for now!